Evolution of modern marketing firms—The CMO Club’s new roadmap

by | Feb 6, 2020 | Marketing, Public Relations

How are top CMOs and their companies organizing and operationalizing their marketing functions to succeed in today’s disruptive business climate? New research from The CMO Club, in partnership with Deloitte, provides a roadmap for critical planning and decision making needed to ready and evolve modern marketing organizations for the future.

The new study explores how the near decade-long evolution of the CMO role itself and the ever-increasing demands from the business functions have evolved. It analyzes reporting structures, span of control, scope and functions, outsourcing and insourcing strategies, talent and succession planning, and performance measurement for modern marketers and their organizations.

“In order to succeed in today’s ever-changing business environment, C-suite leaders are challenged to adapt to new trends while executing tried-and-true strategies,” said Jennifer Veenstra, managing director of the CMO Program at Deloitte Consulting, in a news release. “Having benchmark data will help CMOs and senior marketing leaders develop, design and implement changes that can transform their organizations’ marketing efforts.”

“Today’s marketing organization is so much more than storytelling.

It’s all about seizing the opportunity on the current—and future—state of the CMO’s role andthe marketing organization itself, and building relationships both internally with the C-suite and externally with your customers,” said Pete Krainik, CEO and founder of The CMO Club, in the release. “CMOs need to be asking ‘how do we forge a clear path forward’? This CMO curated benchmark study provides senior marketers a way to cut through the hype through proven CMO insights to build a viable, successful marketing organization and foster even deeper relationships both internally and externally that will drive growth for the overall organization.”

Evolution of modern marketing firms—The CMO Club’s new roadmap

By studying and building a baseline of data around marketing organizations and operational structures, the benchmarking report provides valuable insights for marketing leaders to compare and measure their roles and organizations to their global marketing peers, determine critical decision areas to address their biggest challenges, and establish a roadmap to evolve their marketing organizations for success in the future.

Key highlights from the report include:

Gaining ground in the C-suite

Seventy-one percent of CMOs indicate their role is considered part of the C-suite59 percent report directly to the CEO and 27 percent report to the COO or President.

Accountability far more than ever

More than 50 percent of CMOs surveyed indicate they are responsible for 11 or more areas of marketing activities and identified still other activities they’d like to bring into marketing’s purview to further drive success.

Measuring effectiveness establishes success, builds credibility, fosters collaboration

CMOs report the top three measurements of success in the eyes of their CEO are awareness (51 percent), sales/revenue (31 percent), and media ROI (29 percent).

Identifying and closing skills gaps, finding the right fit

Three primary skills emerged as the biggest: data science (78 percent), analytics (68 percent), and user experience (60 percent).

Balancing internal and external talent

CMOs are flexing by building in-house capabilities, tapping external agencies, and working with a hybrid model of both.

Filling the leadership void

A full 61 percent of respondents said they do not have a direct report who could step into the CMO role tomorrow.

Evolution of modern marketing firms—The CMO Club’s new roadmap

Read the full report here.

The researchers surveyed of over 400 senior marketing executives across the globe, averaging nine years of cumulative CMO or head of marketing experience.Survey data was contextualized with insights from more than 20 CMOs participating in the CMO Club’s Fall 2019 Summit roundtable session, and additionally, with in-depth interviews from brand leaders in a wide range of industries, including Aon, Capital Group, Highmark Health, Hostess Brands, Petco, Taco Bell and Wells Fargo.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter


4 reasons why a crisis communication plan is so important

4 reasons why a crisis communication plan is so important

As negative headlines begin to dominate news outlets, social media buzzes with speculation, and phones ring incessantly with concerned stakeholders from an organization engulfed in crisis. The situation starts threatening the company's reputation, financial stability,...